Budgeting for Your EV Charger

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Factors to Consider for Your EV Charger Budget

When searching for home EV charging equipment, several factors require consideration. It’s crucial to choose a reputable company that offers safety-certified units with reliable warranties, ensuring long-lasting performance.

Nevertheless, one of the most critical aspects to ponder is determining the necessary charging station power. Most present-day battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) can handle charging from a level 2, 240-volt source within the range of 40 to 48 amps. However, the market offers charging stations with varying power outputs, making the decision on the ideal amperage for your EV charger a potentially perplexing task.

What is the charging capacity of your electric vehicle?

Electric vehicles have specific limitations on the amount of electricity they can accept, measured in either amperage (amps) or kilowatts (kW). All EVs are equipped with onboard chargers, responsible for converting alternating current (AC) received into direct current (DC) stored in the vehicle’s battery.

The power rating of the onboard charger determines the AC power capacity that the vehicle can accommodate. Onboard chargers vary in power, ranging from 16 amps (3.7 kW) to 80 amps (19.2 kW). Therefore, the initial consideration when selecting a charging station is to determine the maximum power capacity that your EV can accept.

What is your typical daily mileage?

The average daily mileage for most Americans is around 40 miles. With the convenience of home EV charging, you only need to replenish the miles you’ve driven each day by plugging in your vehicle overnight. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your daily and weekly driving requirements. In many cases, a home charger delivering less power than your EV can accept may be sufficient for your needs.

In instances where you require additional range for a long trip, you have the option to utilize public DC fast chargers. These fast chargers can quickly recharge your EV, allowing you to embark on extended journeys with ease.

What is the electrical capacity of your home?

The electricity supply in your home has certain limitations, and it is possible that you may not have sufficient available power to support the installation of a high-powered dedicated circuit for an EV charger without undergoing a costly service upgrade.

To determine the feasibility of installing a home charger and the maximum amperage it can deliver, it is advisable to have an electrician conduct a load calculation of your electrical service before purchasing your EV. This assessment will help you understand if your home can accommodate the charging requirements and guide you in making the appropriate decisions regarding the installation of a home charger.

What is your budget for the EV charger?

In addition to considering potential costs for electric service upgrades and dedicated circuit installation, you must also factor in the charger’s cost. The price of electric vehicle charging equipment can range from as low as $200 to as high as $2,000, depending on its power capacity and features.

Before commencing your search for a charger, it is essential to determine your budget and what you are willing to pay for both the charger and its installation. Consult with your electrician to understand the cost differences associated with installing a charger based on its amperage capacity.

It is worth noting that lower-powered chargers should generally be more cost-effective to install, as they require thinner wires and less powerful circuit breakers compared to higher-powered chargers.

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